Two Dollars Isn’t a Lot of Money, Unless…

Writing Prompt from 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

Hmmm. Two dollars isn’t a lot of money, unless….we go to the Google machine and go back in time. Let’s figure out what it would have been worth in the past! (Just for fun)

Turns out, it wasn’t that fun. Various sites claim that in 1913 a dollar would be the same as $25.46 today. Another site had that same number for 1880, thirty-three years earlier. Somethings wonky with the math.

I believe the bigger issue here is that there was no income tax until 1913. I think that should factor in, Google. Cause $25.46 today isn’t $25.46 unless you’re using it to purchase a lot of lemonade at the corner stand or at a garage sale or giving it to the kid down the block to walk your dog.

I have not had a garage sale in my life. While they can be loads of fun to shop at, or hang out at eating Twizzlers with my girlfriend, that is just a lot of hard work out there pulling together one of those things. But the people watching is worth everything.

Garage sales are big where I live in Minnesota. Really big. I once eavesdropped on a conversation between a buyer and seller haggling over the price for a pair of used men’s underwear. I am NOT kidding. I believe the gentleman got those undies for a nickel. It was fantastic. And just in case some of you are going to a dark place, let me assure you that I watched the man walk back to this car – it was a perfectly decent, well kept, Prius. Exhibit A – candid photo of the man is part of this blog.

Think about how many pairs of used underwear you could get for $2.00. I have a calculator right here. That’s 40-freaking pair of underwear! Wait, I’m going to the Target website to see how much those suckers run retail.

A nine pack of tidy-whities (same type garage-sale man purchased with less holes) will run you, with tax, $13.94 or $1.55 each. Or in underwear prices, that is 1 pair at Target new or 31 pairs at a garage sale. Holy cow.

Fun fact, there is a spec house for sale in Seacrest, Florida that the builder named a Tidey Whitey. WTF, Florida. I’ll bet that place will hold some kick-ass garage sales. I wonder what a nice Playtex bra with six securing hooks would sell for? In underwear money, I’ll bet it’s a steal.